March season now on sale
For March we continue to present the best new releases, including the follow up the 2012 smash hit, the star-studded Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and the thought-provoking drama Still Alice. The cinema’s Under The Radar series continues to present brilliant new independent films such as the tender romance Love is Strange and this month includes a fascinating showcase of BAFTA Shorts. Classics include the delightful romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story, and there are more live broadcasts to look forward to from the National Theatre and Metropolitan Opera, along with a chance to see Maxine Peake as Hamlet.
One of the highlights of our Under The Radar selection of independent films is the moving drama Love is Strange. Shown in association with Q-Film it tells the tale of a devoted gay couple, played by John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, forced to live apart for the first time in four decades. In the sumptuous setting of a crumbling mansion in Hungary, Peter Strickland’s erotic drama, The Duke of Burgundy, sees two lovers, Cynthia and Evelyn, caught up in a series of S&M games, in a bold exploration of power dynamics and intimacy. Set in Afghanistan in 2006, Kajaki. The True Story is a compelling drama following a company of British soldiers trapped in a mine-field. Thrilling Hungarian satire White God, a winner at last year’s Cannes Festival, takes place in a city where mixed-breed dogs have been banned and sees a young girl’s beloved pet stage an uprising after leading an army of mongrels in an escape from the dog shelter. BAFTA Shorts brings a feature-length selection of short live-action and animated films from this year’s BAFTA Awards, including Best Short Film winner Boogaloo and Graham, and a film by Northamptonshire film-maker Oscar Sharp, The Karman Line.
Among the pick of the latest big releases coming to the Errol Flynn Filmhouse is the colourful sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which sees Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy joined by Richard Gere and Tamsin Greig, as the gang contend with romantic entanglements, business pitches and a visit from mystery hotel inspector in the run up to Sonny’s wedding. Julianne Moore stars in Still Alice, giving a Golden Globe, BAFTA and Oscar-winning performance as a renowned linguistics professor who receives a diagnosis of early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. In the darkly funny movie Cake, Jennifer Aniston has received acclaim for her strong portrayal of a caustic woman who becomes fascinated by the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group. Set in 1940s occupied France and based on the best-selling novel by Irene Nemirovsky, Suite Francaise tells the tale of a young woman, awaiting news of her prisoner of war husband, only to find herself drawn to a handsome German officer, with a cast including Kristin Scott Thomas.
Based on the Alan Ayckbourn comedy, Life of Riley is the last film made by renowned French director Alain Resnais before his death last year, and follows the romantic entanglements of three couples. Following on from his other successful Ayckbourn adaptations, the film is made in French with English subtitles. Paul Thomas Anderson’s new feature, Inherent Vice stars Joaquin Phoenix as a drug-fuelled private eye in 1970s Los Angeles, whose investigation into an ex-girlfriend’s disappearance leads him into a world of hippies, loan sharks, dentists, detectives and a mysterious organisation called the Golden Fang. Just in time for the school holidays, the latest stop-motion extravaganza from Aardman Animations, Shaun the Sheep Movie, sees Britain’s favourite sheep embark on an adventurous journey to the big city to rescue his owner, and with the our special Easter Family Ticket Offer one adult and one child can enjoy this film for just £10.
There is a another chance to see some of the most popular films of the last few months, with repeat screenings scheduled for Testament of Youth, the moving war-time drama based on Vera Brittain’s best-selling memoirs, and biographical drama, The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as mathematician and code-breaker Alan Turing. Golden Globe-winning Michael Keaton stars in the savage comedy Birdman, as a faded actor who once played a superhero now trying to reclaim his past glory, and in Whiplash J.K. Simmons gives a multi-award-winning performance as brutal band instructor at an exclusive music academy.
March’s programme of classic films starts with the 1940 romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story, starring Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant. Later re-made in musical form as High Society, the film tells the twisting tale of a rich socialite of the eve of her re-marriage, when her ex-husband and an undercover reporter turn up on the scene. Powell and Pressburger’s dazzling 1951 film version of Offenbach’s opera The Tales of Hoffman, about a university student spectacularly unlucky in love, is shown in a stunning restoration, containing previously unseen footage. The University of Northampton’s Cult Film Club screening is a unique drama, Seconds, from 1966, starring Rock Hudson as a jaded executive provided with a new face and lifestyle by a shady, multi-national corporation.
Live screenings for the coming month include NT Live’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, David Hare’s adaptation of Katherine Boo’s study of the interconnected lives of the residents of a Mumbai slum. Starring Meera Syal (recently seen in the RSC’s Much Ado About Nothing), the play is broadcast live from the National Theatre. From London’s West End, NT Live also brings audiences the acclaimed Young Vic production of Arthur Miller’s tragic masterpiece, A View From The Bridge, starring Mark Strong (The Imitation Game). Live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York comes Rossini’s La Donna del Lago, based on the well-loved Walter Scott novel.
There is an opportunity to see Maxine Peake play the title role in Hamlet in the recent critically-acclaimed production of the Shakespeare tragedy, recorded during its sell-out run at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s sparkling production of Love’s Labour’s Lost, recorded in Stratford-upon-Avon, enjoys a repeat screening.